Deanna Jordan has a story that will inspire anyone who faces challenges in life. She is a single mom of three boys who graduated from UCLA with three degrees in 2014. She did it while overcoming poverty, violence and discrimination in her hometown of Compton.
Jordan became a mother at 18, and had three sons by the time she was 22. She knew she had to change her situation, so she enrolled at West Los Angeles Community College in 2010. She worked hard and transferred to UCLA in 2013, where she majored in African American Studies and Gender Studies, and minored in Education. She also earned a master’s degree in African American Studies.
She founded the Compton Pipeline Taskforce, a volunteer group that mentors students in Compton schools and helps them prepare for college. She juggled her studies, her parenting and her activism, often sacrificing sleep and comfort. She relied on scholarships, grants and loans to pay for her tuition and expenses. She said her sons were her main motivation.
“I needed for my sons to see there was a legacy that preceded them with college,” Jordan told CBS Los Angeles. “I am the first in my family to go to college.”
Jordan’s accomplishments are impressive, especially considering the statistics that are stacked against her. Only 2% of teen mothers finish college by age 30, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. She is also among the 3% of African American women who have a master’s degree or higher in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau.
Jordan said she wants to use her education and skills to make a difference in her community. She plans to go to law school and become a district attorney. She said she hopes to encourage other single mothers and young women of color to follow their dreams.
“You can’t really succeed unless you fail, and I failed a lot of times, but it was my persistence and my willingness never to give up,” she said.
Deanna is a super woman with super talents. We celebrate you today. You are an incredible and super-intelligent lady. You are truly a Rising African and an able role model for the new African. Rising Africa is a dynamic platform that highlights the remarkable achievements of Africans worldwide and provides up-to-date information on scholarships and sponsorships available to African youth. Our vision is to inspire and empower the next generation of African leaders by showcasing the diverse accomplishments and talents of Africans across different fields, including technology, business, arts and culture, and social activism.
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